The faculty in the Department of Counseling are committed to training competent professionals who are eligible for licensure as Professional Clinical Counselors or Marriage and Family Therapists in clinical mental health settings in the state of California. We work with students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds who are committed to improving the quality of life for children and adults in the community. We utilize an integrated approach in conceptualizing prevention, assessment, treatment, and research. Practice-based student learning is constructed through partnerships with nonprofit agencies in diverse communities. Students are expected to engage in reflective practice, to consistently apply ethical standards, to practice cultural sensitivity, and to take responsibility for social change. We collaborate with students as they develop cultural competence and professional identities that incorporate a dedication to service and life-long learning. We strive to create an education that is guided by relevant community needs and research on learning.
Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice
Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of: (a) the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the counseling profession; (b) ethical and legal guidelines of the profession; and (c) professional counseling credentialing, certification, and licensure.
Students will be able to: demonstrate awareness of the social and cultural influences on human behavior; demonstrate effective counseling skills; evaluate clients' progress; recognize and mitigate countertransference; and conduct counseling with appropriate awareness of ethical and legal issues.
Diversity Awareness and Sensitivity
Students will be able to: demonstrate awareness of the major cultural influences on human behavior, how those intersect with the mental health of their clients, and how they influence their own perceptions and biases regarding clients.
Conceptualization and Treatment Planning
Students will demonstrate knowledge of counseling theories and a bio-psycho-sociocultural framework and apply them to case conceptualization. They will demonstrate the ability to appropriately use the DSM-5 (diagnostic manual of mental disorders). They will construct relevant treatment plans.
Research and Professional Writing Skills
Students will be able to: critically analyze research methodology and the professional literature regarding a counseling topic; construct an original research project; and demonstrate professional writing skills in accordance with APA guidelines.
Students are evaluated throughout the program for their fitness for the field, which involves their dispositions and professionalism. The Department defines a counselor’s disposition as having four components: (a) Effective and professional communication and collaboration: (b) Emotional maturity, self-awareness, and counselor presence: (c) Dependability, reliability, and ethical behavior; and (d) Respect for diversity and openness to other worldviews.